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Seizing Opportunities for Growth

by Emily Letch-Avenell, Brilliant Contributor, The Brilliant Foundation


Perth Western Australia - In a world full of opportunities, the importance of seizing each one cannot be underestimated. My own journey is a clear example of how grabbing every chance with enthusiasm and dedication can truly make a difference. Whether it's participating in global conferences, drafting policies that enact real change, or leading environmental initiatives, the key to success lies in the effort and passion you invest.


Each opportunity I’ve pursued has not only shaped my journey but also enhanced my ability to bring about real change and make an impact. Through my involvement in various academic and leadership roles, I've been privileged to contribute to the conversation on climate change and sustainability.


My journey began as an active participant in my community during my high school years which was one of the deciding factors for receiving the offer for the John Curtin Undergraduate Scholar at Curtin University. Upon acceptance of this scholarship, I was constantly encouraged to involve myself within the university and make the most of the diverse opportunities that Curtin had to offer. I became involved within Curtin Volunteers and became a leader for the Environment Portfolio soon after.


I decided that an international experience would be a great addition to my education and applied for as many diverse opportunities as I could. I was selected to participate in a sustainability study tour to Norway with Curtin, and my passion for sustainability began.

Upon returning to Australia I wrote a reflective paper which was subsequently read and shared around the university (to read more, this story is featured on Curtin’s Instagram page).

Norway Study Tour

My next incredible opportunity at Curtin stemmed from this paper when a staff member contacted me and recommended that I apply for a Global Voices Fellowship Scholarship. Successful in my application, the Fellowship allowed me to write a policy on something that I was passionate about, provided a segway to make positive change.

Not only was I able to make positive change, but the connections with staff, who are also involved with sustainability initiatives has been invaluable. Consequently, I am now developing social media content for Curtin to enhance public awareness about pressing environmental issues.


In Canberra

In Canberra

As part of the Global Voices fellowship, I travelled to Canberra to discuss pressing issues within society with various industry leaders as well as the Governor General David Hurley, which assisted in the drafting of my circular economy policy. A short time later, I travelled to the Conference of Parties 28 (COP28) in Dubai 2023, as part of the Australian Government overflow party, allowing me access to all sectors of the global conference.

I was selected to speak about my policy, the Food Donation and Waste Reduction Act at the Australian Pavilion and discuss with youth globally about climate initiatives. This was an incredible opportunity, to speak to a conference with 97,000 people in attendance. Global Voices participants were invited to Andrew Forrest’s ammonia-powered vessel, which gave me an incredible insight into the future sustainable solutions including the engineering behind this transformed green vessel.

EXPO City, COP28 Dubai


My policy, as well as participation at COP28, attracted attention from the West Australian newspaper as well as 6PR and an article in The West and an interview on talk-back radio followed. Connecting with youth nationally and sharing my journey as well as my upcoming policy’s via these two platforms was a powerful way for my ideas to gain traction.

Presenting at COP28, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

These media outlets have allowed me to take further action personally as well as inspire others to act towards environmental sustainability, to read more follow the links below:


GenWest News:

 6PR Interview:


I am currently involved with a future solutions group FORE, writing policy. FORE solutions library, in partnership with Zoos Victoria, advocates for the mandatory labelling of palm oil on product labelling to increase transparency and allow for consumer choice, encouraging the sustainable production of Palm Oil.


My engagement with the FORE solutions library, and partnerships with organisations like Zoos Victoria on initiatives such as Mandatory Labelling of Palm Oil on products are steps towards setting new standards and enhancing public understanding of environmental impacts.

I believe that drafting policy and increasing engagement with pressing issues that impact society will create a pathway towards a collectivist society that takes real action towards environmental conservation, and I am looking forward to seeing several of these policies published soon.  

Like-minded individuals driven to create change has greatly enriched my understanding of advanced sustainability practices, as well as reinforced the importance of supporting and engaging others to increase participation in sustainable initiatives for a brighter future.


Norway Study Tour


I am currently studying a Human Resource Management and International Business degree, with an advanced honours in Circular Economy. This is closely aligned with my passion for environmental stewardship and my love of people.

Emily studying MGMT3014 Building A Sustainable Workforce at Curtin University, Bentley, Perth Western Australia

Within this degree I have been involved in multiple internships that align with my career goals, including a role at Deloitte where I explored human capital and workforce transformation, gained insights into fostering sustainable organisational practices and subsequently preparing me for an upcoming internship with CSIRO in their Agriculture sector.


Internship at Deloitte

As I near the completion of my degree, I am mindful that my journey is far from over. My journey has been one awesome opportunity that had a flow-on effect to other incredible opportunities. Being committed, passionate and saying yes to every opportunity through my studies, policy-making, and leadership, has allowed me to be at a place in my life that I am very happy with, allowing me to have a say in change that matters and benefits my community.

I constantly reflect on what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity university is and how privileged that I have been to have access to these amazing pathways. Success comes down to passion and commitment. Attending tutorials, making connections, and choosing to be kind at every turn builds success.


If you would like to chat more, reach out on Linkedin:


Please read further information below Emily's experience as a change maker: 

at the National Conference:


To read more about Global Voices:


To read more about the Ammonia powered vessels:









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